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La Cygne Generating Station

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La Cygne Generating Station is a coal-fired power station operated by Great Plains Energy near La Cygne, Kansas. (Great Plains Energy is the the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations (GMO), both of which operate under the brand name KCP&L).[1] Westar Energy jointly owns 50% of La Cygne unit 1 generating unit and, in 1987, entered into a sale-leaseback transaction with KGE over its 50% interest in the La Cygne unit 2 generating unit.[2]

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Coal Supply

In its 2008 annual report, Westar, which owns 50% of the La Cygne Generating Station, stated "La Cygne unit 1 uses a blended fuel mix containing approximately 90% PRB (Powder River Basin - ed) coal and 10% Kansas/Missouri coal, the latter of which is purchased from time to time from local Kansas and Missouri producers. La Cygne unit 2 uses PRB coal. The operator of La Cygne, Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCPL), arranges coal purchases and transportation services for La Cygne. All of the La Cygne unit 1 and La Cygne unit 2 PRB coal is supplied through fixed price contracts through 2010 and is transported under KCPL’s Omnibus Rail Transportation Agreement with the BNSF and Kansas City Southern Railroad through December 31, 2010. As the PRB coal contracts expire, we anticipate that KCPL will negotiate new supply contracts or purchase coal on the spot market. During 2008, the average delivered cost of all coal burned at La Cygne unit 1 was approximately $1.31 per MMBtu, or $21.24 per ton. The average delivered cost of coal burned at La Cygne unit 2 was approximately $1.18 per MMBtu, or $19.65 per ton."[3]

Plant Data

  • Owner: Kansas City Power & Light Company
  • Parent Company: Great Plains Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,578 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 893 MW (1973), 685 MW (1977)
  • Location: 25166 East 2200th Rd., La Cygne, KS 66040
  • GPS Coordinates: 38.3485, -94.6454
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: Lucky Strike Mine blended with Wyoming Powder coal
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 10,275,075 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 22,421 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 33,512 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 826 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the La Cygne Generating Station

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[4] The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma-related episodes and asthma-related emergency room visits, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, peneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal-fired power plants. Fine particle pollution is formed from a combination of soot, acid droplets, and heavy metals formed from sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and soot. Among those particles, the most dangerous are the smallest (smaller than 2.5 microns), which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities.

The table below estimates the death and illness attributable to the La Cygne Generating Station. Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[5]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the La Cygne Generating Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 28 $200,000,000
Heart attacks 43 $4,700,000
Asthma attacks 480 $25,000
Hospital admissions 21 $470,000
Chronic bronchitis 17 $7,700,000
Asthma ER visits 30 $11,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011

Coal Waste

La Cygne ranked 16th on list of most polluting power plants in terms of coal waste

In January 2009, Sue Sturgis of the Institute of Southern Studies compiled a list of the 100 most polluting coal plants in the United States in terms of coal combustion waste (CCW) stored in surface impoundments like the one involved in the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill.[6] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[7]

La Cygne Generating Station ranked number 16 on the list, with 2,127,000 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[6]

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. Great Plains Energy, "Investment Merits", Great Plains Energy website, accessed June 2009.
  2. Westar Energy, Westar Energy 2008 Annual Report", Westar Energy, page 20.
  3. Westar Energy, Westar Energy 2008 Annual Report", Westar Energy, page 10. (Page 12 of the pdf).
  4. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  5. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  7. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.

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